With my latest series of woodcuts, a new project I call '#gefaelltdas', I am exploring modern-day habits of interaction, (self-)reflection, perception and deception, borrowing the imagery as well as the values that we all have become so accustomed to through using Instagram. I am not criticizing social media, being a heavy user of mainly Instagram and Facebook myself. As an artist, curator, collector and gallery owner it has become a part of my daily routine to promote my work and even my lifestyle online.
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For me creating art is also a very personal way to research and discover, to experiment and proof. It helps me to study and investigate life and the issues we interact with as humans, trying to satisfy my curiosity and to built (or develop) my ‚visual stories‘ upon my findings. I am mostly interested in the social and cultural aspects of the human habitat, and while some things may look supersimple and obvious to others, I have to dig in deep if something excites my ‚artistic instincts‘ until I am personally satisfied.
With ‚#gefaelltdas‘ I am going down the path of interaction, perception and deception, borrowing the imagery that we all have become so accustomed to from Instagram. As with most of my work, during research I am setting some ground rules through iteration to achieve my results. These rules or guidelines are a way of outlining the work I will create in the studio afterwards, which it is a vital part of my sketching process.
For example in the first work of the series (see below) I was narrowing down the principles after which a certain kind of selfie is being composed: shot into a mirror with the smartphone covering the face. The awkward angle of the camera leads to an interesting perspective of the overall picture, with abstract-looking lines in the background. For the following pieces I use these findings and continue to search for something „iconic“ in the imagery in the sense that this is conditioning our behaviour and our viewing patterns. It will always be related to how we compose and consume photography on Instagram, but also, like in the animal images, to the kind of content we devour.
To drive the recognition value of the imagery to the max, I am using the frame of the Instagram posts from the username/handle down to the interactive part and the number of likes, which seem to have turned into a hyper-valued currency these days.
That is why I am naming the artworks after the amount of likes of the source image. And because in the german version of Instagram on my smartphone a „like“ becomes a „gefällt“, the whole series is named ‚#gefaelltdas‘. I actually registered @gefaelltdas , a new Instagram account next to my regular one (@alexxxdiamond), where I will also document the project.
In regards to my distinctive woodcutting technique applied here: because of the smaller size of the woodblocks (18x 24 x 3 cm / 7” x 9.5” x 1.2”), the text becomes a bit choppy and almost unreadable, but everything is actually carved into the wood, while the color is mostly rubbed into the cuts. The pigmenting and painting of these works resembles old russian icon paintings, and while I am not pursuing any religious ideas here, the golden, vintage look and the choice of a „new iconic imagery“ supports the theme.
Please check this online-portfolio below. I will update this document when I add new work.
You can inquire about the availability of the individual pieces by clicking the links inside the portfolio. And of course you can check directly here.
And of course please follow my own Instagram at @alexxxdiamond for my latest artworks, photography and nonsense.